September 9, 2020
- What is your name / organization / title?
Derek Temple / Freelance Illustrator & Designer
- What motivated you to become a maker?
Animation was the true motivation growing up. From Saturday morning cartoons to the Disney classics, it sparked the creativity to think up my own characters and stories and bring them to life. As time goes on, that motivation changes. Now in the new era of social media, I’ve made some amazing connections with all types of artists/animators working on today’s cartoons and animated films. I'm motivated by these talented individuals on a daily basis to keep creating. I love to use that inspiration to create something that will turn around and motivate someone else. Knowing your art brings joy to someone's day, even for a moment, is wonderful.
- Looking back on the early stages of your journey, what advice would you give yourself now?
Don't compare your creativity to others. Everyone's skill set is different and someone is enjoying yours just as much as you're enjoying someone else's.
It’s okay to fail and make mistakes. You're never going to create perfection on the first attempt.
- What is your favorite thing you’ve ever made? Why?
It would have to be a five-foot, cardboard AT-ST (from Return of the Jedi).
This is my favorite for many reasons.
It was something my dad and I decided to build out of the blue one day and really loved the challenge. Using cardboard, carpet tubes, toilet paper rolls, and lots of hot glue, we turned our idea into a reality and made a wearable AT-ST costume.
What I enjoyed most about creating the AT-ST was being able to collaborate with my dad, blend our creativity, and truly work as a team.
- What’s the next evolution for you (or your industry) going to look like?
This is a tricky question!
I have no clue what my future holds and I kind of like that. There's a lot that I still want to accomplish, but there's no real adventure in knowing what's ahead (nor can we predict it).
I don't know what may become of my creativity. I just know that I have no intentions of quitting. I'll keep creating and challenging myself, create goals, and keep putting stuff out there that will make people smile, laugh or bring someone joy, even if it's for .03 seconds.
- Who would you partner with (living or dead) for your dream collaboration? And what would you work on together?
I would have to choose artist, Mike Mitchell. We could draw stick figures...I wouldn’t care what it was that we collaborated on! He has such a wide range of talent with his amazingly detailed portraits to his simple, cute and bold illustrations. I enjoy all his work.
- You're on death row and it's time for your final meal. What'll ya have?
A buttery Pecan waffle with syrup, five strips of bacon, 2 eggs over easy, 6oz sirloin (med rare), a box of Little Debbie brownies, and a white Russian to wash it down.
- In a world where you have two hands, all of your pets and loved ones are safe, and your studio is on fire, what do you try to save?
My sketchbooks, my laptop, an altoids tin full of memorable items, and an algae tuft (in a jar) named Gene.
- What is one piece of pop culture (movie, tv, artwork, song, etc.) that no matter how many times you return to it you still draw excitement, movement, or inspiration?
Jurassic Park...hands down! It's that perfect background movie while I'm drawing and it's a tradition of mine to watch it every year around my birthday.
- I love useless facts. Impress me with a seriously useless fact!
Although it may look like they only two eyes, Bees actually have five eyes.
- If you could try any profession other than your own, what would you choose to do?
A puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company. It always looked like it would be so fun to bring life into those colorful creatures.
- What is your personal strategy/philosophy when it comes to using social media for your work?
In the creative industry, I feel like social media is extremely valuable. I have generated a lot of sales and/or commissioned projects through Instagram alone. It can be an incredible tool to network with others in your field of interest, ask questions, and learn new things. There will always be someone out there that can teach you something. I've learned so much by simply reaching out and asking questions.
I also make sure to always show my appreciation to those that reach out and support or share my work. Don’t get hung up on ’likes and comments’’, post things because you want to share it.
And lastly, be supportive and be yourself!
- Speaking of social media, where can people find you?